McWard discusses with Trinket about her sense of dread, her ability to detect nearby xenomorphs. She says it’s pretty vague and only gives her the feeling of small dread or big dread and a general direction, nothing more specific. Crew wonders if we could use her to find the remaining two facehuggers lurking around the Sherwood.
The crew discusses with Ava about her protocols.
We decide to fly 30 days to New Galveston looking for the Cerberus. Nobody will be in cryosleep except for Hooper and the injured crew found on the Archer.
McWard and Weylon research ways to neutralize xeno acid blood, perhaps a basic solution in a propulsion device like a fire extinguisher might dampen the acid’s potency a little bit.
Dozer and the new girl Kit work on doing some repairs on the Sherwood.
Maddox tries to rewrite some of Ava’s code to bring her back to a more normal mode.
2 weeks into our flight to New Galveston, we pick up a distress call a day off course, if we ignore it we risk losing our shipping license. Finn sends a message but receives no response. As far as we know, we are most likely alone out there on the frontier.
As we get there, it seems the ship could have been a heavily modified G-class transport (smaller than Sherwood). It’s slowly rolling over end to end. Very old ship, retrofiffted. No signs, symbols, marks, emblems on it. No radiation or power. No other ships on long range scan. The ship shows a lot of scoring around the engines like it’s been shot at.
Landow, Kit, Dozer and Weylon suit up to go on the unknown ship.
We attach an umbilical to the underside of the ship leading into the cargo hold. Weylon fails to open the ship’s door so Maddox suits up and goes over, he succeeds and everyone gets into the ship’s cargo hold. Maddox and Weylon then fail to break into the ship’s controls to learn more about it.
In the cargo are sealed metallic crates with bar codes on them.
Crew goes up a ladder and progresses further into the unknown ship.
Back on the Sherwood, Gordi and Finn are on the bridge. Suddenly 5 pirates show up out of nowhere with guns (seems they were hiding in the crates the crew walked by in the other ship’s cargo hold) and disarm Finn and Gordi.
In the Medbay, McWard hears a clamor in the vents, it’s Trinket, she says there are bad people on the ship. He grabs some weapons and makes his way to the bridge.
On the bridge, the pirates tell Finn and Gordi that all they want are the little girl and the synth Ava.
On his way there, McWard comes across Ava and tells her there are bad people threatening Trinket. Ava smash.
From the other ship, the rest of the crew races back to the Sherwood. The pirates start a countdown and threaten to start killing people if Ava and Trinket aren’t handed to them.
Crew makes a plan to give a stun grenade to Ava and have her walk in as if she’s turning herself in and then hopefully stun most of the pirates with the grenade as the rest of the crew slips in behind her.
Ava walks in, throws the grenade but somehow all the pirates manage to resist getting stunned. A wild firefight ensues in which Landow decides shooting armor piercing bullets through a pirate and the ship’s hull is a smart plan. One of the pirates shoots Captain Gordi at close range trying to execute him. Landow gets shot back. Maddox takes a glancing hit. Ava punches a pirate into oblivion. Even Trinket gets in the action and shoots a pirate who falls unconscious.
Dozer and McWard stabilize the captain, who someone only suffered a minor wound. There are four dead pirates and a surviving one that had been subdued. We feel our ship shudder so we immediately disconnect the umbilical. There are likely some more pirates on the other ship. After taking pics of the faces, we space the dead pirates’ corpses.
The captured pirate’s name is Alice. She has a manly voice. She says there are separate contract on our ship/crew from two different buyers. The other ship is named the Verner, there are 2 crew left on it. Alice says they’re just bounty hunters, nothing personal.
Finn receives a coded transmission from the marshal services.
We put Alice in cryosleep.
We wonder how the pirates knew where to find us, since they were waiting for us on our way to a location we hadn’t discussed with anyone outside the Sherwood.
Finn discovers there were transmissions sent from the Sherwood, outside of Mother’s systems. It seems to be a pretty advanced system sending encrypted messages.
We learn that there is a bounty on the ship itself, and the whole crew with all of our names listed. Other bounty seems to be for Ava and Trinket alone, per Alice.
Weylon digs through Ava’s code again but fails to achieve anything.
Because of the constant threat of facehuggers, we split duties and sleep on rotating schedules so there’s always several people up at any time.
Trinket finds a hole in some air ducts, but it’s too small for her to crawl in, so she shows it to the rest of the crew. The steel looks like it’s been melted – likely a facehugger hiding spot.
Dozer and Weylon put together a crude motion tracker. We try to track the two remaining facehugger for the next two weeks without success.
We finally arrive at New Galveston, there is a whole lot of debris in orbit around the planet, including the wreck of the Marion, the ship that used to support the planet before blowing up. Initially we find no sign of the Cerberus, until we pick up their signal coming our way. They hail us asking to shut down our engines. Cerberus captain Brackett says he asked us to not return to this space, but Gordi replies that we have a bit of a situation going on.
Before the Cerberus links with the Sherwood, Ava and Trinket go to hide in the secret compartment in the cargo hold. Maddox goes with them.
We’re quickly taken onto the Cerberus by Brackett. He asks our two colonial marines Kit Handred and Roger Landow what they are doing on the Sherwood and how they ended up there. Kit tells her story about how her ship got blown up and she was the only survivor until we picked her up, Landow says he’s assigned to Sherwood for protection. Brackett asks Landow where Maddox is, Landow says he got spaced during an attack, but the lie doesn’t seem to convince Brackett.
Then a lot of back-and-forth talking happens with both sides seemingly dancing around some issues. Brackett eventually says one of us is a male synth.
Kit brings Lt Parris back on the Sherwood with a squad of marines, she shows them the hiding spot where Ava, Trinket and Maddox are. Parris tries to get everyone to go on the Cerberus but Maddox argues that he needs to stay in the hiding spot because it’s shielded from transmission. He eventually gets the upper hand and Parris leaves.
Brackett asks Gordi why we came back to New Galveston. Gordi admits that we have xenos on the ship. We tell Brackett that LaSalle and Weyland-Yutani might be in some bioweapon arms race against each other to breed the aliens. LaSalle has a facility in Brazil on Earth where they’re trying to move all their assets. LaSalle has also proven poor at keeping creatures secured.
Brackett implies one of us works for LaSalle and one of us works for Weyland-Yutani.
Brackett, Parris and about 20 marines travel back onto the Sherwood, we talk some more, Maddox says he believes there’s a tracker implanted inside of him, which is why he wanted to remain in the secret compartment. Later a man shows up from the Cerberus who is clearly a synth, he’s called Davis. He checks Ava to make sure she’s not transmitting anything.
Brackett says more and more synths learned to burn their uplink to their manufacturers and recode their protocols. Brackett takes all those in cryosleep back onto the Cerberus.
Suddenly Maddox collapses. Marines transport him to the Cerberus. McWard swings by the medbay to grab some medical supplies before rejoining the rest of the crew on the Cerberus.
Brackett talks about Empaths, how they have some manner of connection with Xenos and how they have dreadful nightmares when sleeping. Everyone stares at Trinket.
There is a group called the Church of Immaculate Incubation that believes the Empaths are destined to birth xeno queens and they can sense the approach of nearby xenos. The Church leader is named Salvaje.
Xenos will take characteristics of their host. For instance if they infect a dog, they will walk and run on all fours instead of walking upright like humans.
McWard draws blood from everyone. Gordie, the dog Dixie, Mcward himself, Kit, Landow, Finn, Weylon, Dozer, Trinket, everyone checks fine with red blood. Still need to do Maddox once he’s back from wherever they took him.
Brackett wants us to go down on the planet’s surface and clean the place up, while they themselves clean our ship of the remaining two facehuggers. Then they’ll chase the Church ship before it reaches Earth and unleashes xenos there or something.
Brackett says there is a xeno queen below ground, he’ll give us instructions on how to find it and kill it.
Kit gets a field promotion to Sgt so she can keep Landow in check. No more shooting holes through the hull please.
Maddox was right and did have a chip in him, the docs on the Cerberus remove it.
Brackett admits the Cerberus operates outside of Colonial Marine authority. He gives Weylon a piece of equipment to detect and decrypt outgoing transmissions. Hooper and Alice the Bounty Hunter are given back into our custody.
== END OF TRANSMISSION ==